Pityriasis Alba (1077)

Key points below

What is Pityriasis Alba?

Pityriasis Alba is a skin rash. It shows up as white patches of skin on the cheeks and outer areas of the arms. The rash has pale round or oval patches with a fine white scale on the patches. It is more easily seen on darker skin.  It is also noticed more during the summer months when children are tanned.  
It may be itchy.  It is more common in people with dry skin and eczema.  It is not an infection and is not caused by a bacteria or a fungus.  The only real concern is the way it looks.
Pityriasis Alba typically goes through three stages: 

1. A pink patch with a slightly raised border that may be itchy.  
2. The pinkness fades and leaves a white patch with scale.  
3. Next there is only a pale patch of skin without any scale.  Most often the rash is not noticed until this final stage.

How is it treated?

Pityriasis Alba normally gets better on its own.  Often treatment is not needed. The skin color will return to normal within weeks to months.  Sometimes it may take up to a year.  
Moisturizing the skin with lotions, creams, and ointments can help speed the healing.  More importantly, it can prevent new lesions.  Moisturizers work best when used 2 times a day on damp skin.  Creams and ointments work better than lotions.  Some creams that generally help are: 


Call your child’s doctor, nurse, or clinic if you have any questions or concerns or if your child has special health care needs that were not covered by this information.